1 May 2011

Syrian troops seize key mosque

8:31 am on 1 May 2011

The army has seized control of a mosque which had become a centre for anti-government protests in the Syrian city of Deraa, witnesses say.

The BBC reports that soldiers were stationed on the roof the Omari mosque in the city centre after an assault supported by tanks.

Activists said at least six people were killed by security forces in the city. One said the dead had been shot by snipers.

State television said security forces had come under attack by armed terrorists in Deraa and Homs, Syria's third biggest city.

The death toll from seven weeks of protests against the rule of President Bashar al-Assad has continued to rise.

On Friday, more than 60 protesters were killed across the country, human rights groups said.

Officials said the number of dead was far lower, and included four soldiers.